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Old 11-09-2015, 12:32 PM   #1
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Can I tow anything?

We are humming and hawing whether to buy an AS now or wait till we buy another vehicle. I have been reading the forums and did not see many people talk about pulling an AS with a Mercedes. We have a 2014 GLK 250, diesel. We have been to see Can Am in London ON, they installed my hitch but not the electrics. [Waiting to see if I will use this car to tow. before I install the electrics]
Is there any trailer you would recommend we pull now with this car or do I wait and buy another vehicle, we are looking at the new Volvo XC90 with a towing capacity of 5000 lbs. The salesman at Can Am wanted to sell us the AS 22 ft sport model. I am open to comments as I am dragging my feet right now due to indecision.
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Old 11-09-2015, 12:53 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forums!

I'm not familiar with Mercedes Benz models, but I know two people towing late model Airstreams with Mercedes SUVs with no problems. One is towing a 19 footer and another a 22.

I am guessing the Sport 22 would be a good choice for you. As I recall it's 4,000 pounds gross weight, fairly light for a travel trailer.
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Old 11-09-2015, 01:07 PM   #3
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Welcome to Airforums. You have brought up a controversial subject here. You will likely get a wide range of opinions, some of which are quite stubbornly held. Since you have already been in touch with CanAm, I would recommend using then as your primary resource. You are likely to receive widely varying responses to your query. I would recommend paying the most attention to those who are already towing with vehicles similar to yours. There are many here. Be prepared to be told that you need a truck or heavy SUV to tow just about anything.

Best of luck in your quest.

Ken
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Old 11-09-2015, 01:39 PM   #4
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We just purchased a 2015 Sport 22FB from Can-Am this summer & tow with a 2011 Nissan Xterra. Our tow rating is 5000 lbs, when using weight distribution (IIRC, it's rating 3500# when not using wt. dist. )

We're comfortable & quite happy with the combo thus far, but I'll throw out our caveats. The Xterra is built on a ladder frame, not unibody, so it handles / rides / tows like a "truck" and not some of the other SUVs on the market (that often make me think that they're just minivans for people who wish they didn't drive a minivan); we're very comfortable with the amount of cargo weight included in both the gross amount for the trailer & for our vehicles rating, and this truck has proven to us over the last couple of years with some of the dodgy backcountry camping roads we go on.

I know we test drove our trailer behind a diesel Jetta sedan at Can-Am, and they definitely advocated the ability to tow behind sedans / unibody vehicles, and it felt great. Really.

So, my answer definitely leans towards truck / truck-like towing, but it really depends on your comfort
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Old 11-09-2015, 02:26 PM   #5
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You are fortunate to have the best Airstream towing advice at hand in Can-Am Airstream. They are a second generation Airstream dealer in business 40 years, and have set up thousands of vehicles similar to yours for towing. Airstreamers from all over the U.S. and Canada seek their expert advice and travel there for hitch reinforcements and setups. You won't get better advice anywhere. If you don't trust the salesman you talked to, talk to Andrew Thomson the owner and Airstream/hitch expert for confirmation.
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Old 11-09-2015, 02:59 PM   #6
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If you switch to Benz ML (I think its now officially called GLE), your tow rating will increase to 7200# (I believe your current GLK is rated at 3500#). ML/GLE is heavier and has a longer wheelbase, so it should be more stable. Also, if you get the tow package, you will get a good hitch. You will have a tow ready vehicle from the factory with no need for a reinforcement.
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Old 11-09-2015, 07:03 PM   #7
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We tow our 22ft with a 2010 jetta tdi. It is by far as better TV than our f-150 v8. I can't imagine that your Mercedes is a lesser TV to our jetta. Get the electrical. A 22 or 24 should be great.
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Old 11-10-2015, 12:05 PM   #8
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Towing Question

My take is to follow your instincts. If you went to Can AM and had the hitch installed you are heading toward a choice. The electrics are a small part of the cost of ownership. My suggestion is to get the 22 sport and get on the road. If it does not work for you then get a new TV. Your only incremental cost is the electrics at this point.

If you are getting younger, then by all means wait. If you are going in the same direction as me get your Airstream and start the adventure. You will be glad you did!
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Old 11-10-2015, 12:29 PM   #9
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The one issue nobody talks about is wheel base. I used to tow my 23ft AS with a Toyota 4Runner with a v8. I found that the 4Runner had all the power I needed but when I was passed by a semi my rig wall over the road. Even though the 4Runner had a 7200 lb towing capacity the wheel base and the width did not provide a stable platform for safe towing. Your MB and that Volvo would probably have the same issues. I traded the 4Runner for a Toyota Tundra and now have a safe and comfortable tow vehicle that tows my AS like a dream. You may want to consider a full size SUV over the GL MB or the Volvo
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Old 11-10-2015, 01:21 PM   #10
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In response to wavelength's comment above, his problem was lack or inadequate/ineffective anti-sway control (ASC) with the hitch, not wheelbase alone.

We towed our 1960 Avion T20 (21' & 3500# wet/loaded) with rented Nissan Pathfinders - both with & without Anti-sway:

1. Bare-ball (no WD nor ASC), which was an E-ticket ride over 55-60 mph (probably the reason CA & other states limit towing cars to 55 mph).

2. With the Hensley Cub WD/ASC hitch - absolutely NO problem with high winds, trucks passing, rough pavement, etc. - so much so that I had to catch myself at 75 mph several times!

Whichever trailer & whichever TV you get, you need to get a proper WD/ASC hitch set-up, & CanAm can help you with that. It doesn't have to be a PPP type hitch such as a Hensley Cub or Arrow (6,000#/600# & 10,000#/1,000# ratings respectively) or ProPride, or Blue Ox, EZ, Reese, etc. more traditional WD/ASC designs - but it does need to fit your needs & preferences.

I know a fellow vintage kin whose father tows their 1960's 24' "AS vintage kin" sometimes with a GLK (I don't recall his silver twinkie's make off hand), but it's the V6 350 gasser, so I don't know how it compares to the 2.5L diesel you have. Also, the vintage trailers tend to be lighter weight than todays AS, so you want to probably stick with their Sport models which are lighter, than the older ones - as well as their 16' to 22' range with a GLK.

If you decide to step up in size - or help you to decide, then you may want to first peruse the TV forum topics for ones on the Euro & other mid-size SUVs - e.g.: on the MBZ ML/GLE, Cayenne/Touareg/Audi Q7, BMW X5, Nissan Pathfinder, Toyota 4Runner, Ford Explorer, etc. Unfortunately I'm migrating to a new computer & don't have my bookmarks for some of them handy.

BTW - the Porshe Cayenne/VW Touareg/Audi Q7 cousins are well worth looking at, with their +/- 7716 lbs. towing capability & 770 lbs. hitch weight - which is more than most competitors (some MYs vary to lower ratings 2013>, & the Q7 is a bit longer with 3 rows & so lower tow rating), although I'd stay away from the VW based 3.0L TDI in all 3 for now due to the smog test cheating problem, until that's cleared up (FYI the new 2016 Cayenne Diesel will be a Porsche only 3.6L TDI).

You can also find used low mile pampered Porsche Cayenne S's with the gas V8 fairly easily, if you perfer that route.

Also, the Porsche Macan S & Turbo S can tow about 4400+ if you want more powerful engines, in a compact SUV/CUV of similar size to your GLK.

Not selling anything, just some food for thought, & a suggestion to search the forums, since this topic is actively discussed in several topics on here.

PS - Also read up on Andy Thompson's (CanAm) "Hitch Hints" articles at their website & on your Canadian "RV Lifestyles" magazine for topics on these "smaller than trucks" TVs & WD/ASC hitches.

Good Luck!
Tom
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Old 11-10-2015, 01:41 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drobbjr View Post
We are humming and hawing whether to buy an AS now or wait till we buy another vehicle. I have been reading the forums and did not see many people talk about pulling an AS with a Mercedes. We have a 2014 GLK 250, diesel. We have been to see Can Am in London ON, they installed my hitch but not the electrics. [Waiting to see if I will use this car to tow. before I install the electrics]
Is there any trailer you would recommend we pull now with this car or do I wait and buy another vehicle, we are looking at the new Volvo XC90 with a towing capacity of 5000 lbs. The salesman at Can Am wanted to sell us the AS 22 ft sport model. I am open to comments as I am dragging my feet right now due to indecision.
If you want to stay with an SUV consider a Range Rover HSE. We tow a 25FB Serenity with a 2008 Range Rover HSE, 7,771 lbs tow, 770 lbs tongue weight, tranny oil cooler, all wheel drive, 14" disk brakes. It handles my AS with no problem on the west coast but when we tackle the Alaska Highway or Sierra's we will go to a 3/4 ton diesel.

Welcome to the forum. Use the Google search options on the Towing and Hitches forum as this subject has been covered many times, ignoring the obvious biases there is a lot of good experience information on towing with all types of SUVs and trucks of all makes and sizes. Good luck!
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Old 11-10-2015, 01:43 PM   #12
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Here's a GLK 250 set up to tow a 27' Airstream. But it's not just a matter of just hooking up and taking off. Proper setup by someone who is experienced in this sort of thing is essential. This article and work is by Andrew Thomson of Can-Am Airstream.

Towing Test: Mercedes GLK 250 BlueTEC | RV Lifestyle Magazine
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Old 11-10-2015, 03:26 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by rostam View Post
If you switch to Benz ML (I think its now officially called GLE), your tow rating will increase to 7200# (I believe your current GLK is rated at 3500#). ML/GLE is heavier and has a longer wheelbase, so it should be more stable. Also, if you get the tow package, you will get a good hitch. You will have a tow ready vehicle from the factory with no need for a reinforcement.
The 2016 GLE models come with a class III hitch and are rated to 6600lbs (GLE 300d and GLE 350 RWD) and 7200lbs for the larger petrol and GLE350 4matic models.

The diesel GLE 300D retains the 4cyl Bi-turbo that is one great little engine (I have an E-250). You could probably tow up to a 23 ft FC with this. Interestingly they lightened the vehicle a bit but somehow the towing capacity too. No telling what CanAm can do with this new platform.

The GLC (replacement for the GLK) is still being spec'd so no tow rating available for it, but yes it was 3500lbs in the GLK platform. Its got even more dramatic chassis rework, but is likely to come in significantly below the GLE is tow capacity. Last I saw the GLC diesels are yet to be configured for the US and are slated for intro next year. Meanwhile the GLC300 has a small 2.0L 4cyl and a NINE speed transmission. Talk about gear seeking...

I started a thread on the 2016 XC90 earlier this year, but have since given up going that route... No Diesel option for the US and like the GLC300, the little 4cyl petrol engine is just not gutsy enough for towing IMO. That, and the 5000lb limit would scare me off.

I am looking for something thrifty to tow my 23ft Safari and may well go the route of the GLE 300D... If I can convince my wife to give up her 2011 E350 4matic wagon... For another Benz instead of the XC90... She REALLY likes this wagon and the Volvos.
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Old 11-10-2015, 04:28 PM   #14
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If I can convince my wife to give up her 2011 E350 4matic wagon... For another Benz instead of the XC90... She REALLY likes this wagon and the Volvos.
The E350 sounds like a great vehicle for a 23'. Have you researched the vehicles capabilities for towing?
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